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ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Strike Out!
by Geoffrey D. Roberts

Everyone’s Hero, a disappointing animated film, centers around a 10-year-old boy’s obsession with baseball and his favorite team, the New York Yankees.

The Yankees have just made it into the 1932 World Series and are set to play against the Chicago Cubs. Yankee Irving (voiced by Jake T. Austin) knows everything concerning the team as well as about baseball in general. However, his proficiency at recalling baseball facts fails to help him in games against neighborhood kids at a local sandlot. Irving is consistently the last pick for the teams. One reason for this involves the lad always falling over and striking out every time he bats. After being ridiculed so much on a particular day, the boy struggles over whether he wants to play baseball ever again and endure further teasing.

Meanwhile, the Chicago Cubs are facing elimination from the World Series after having lost the first three games to the Yankees. Babe Ruth (voiced by Brian Dennehy) has been knocking balls right out of the stadium for his team. Many journalists and fans attribute the Yankees’ success to Ruth’s lucky bat,  nicknamed Darlin’ (voiced by Whoopi Goldberg). Napoleon Cross (voiced by Robin Williams), the Cubs’ general manager, has been stewing over the team’s dreadful showing in the first three games of the series. He’s desperate to win the coveted World Series trophy but knows the Yankees will likely be the ones to hoist the statue at the next game, so he schemes with Cubs pitcher Lefty Maginnis (voiced by William H. Macy) to swipe Darlin’. He believes the Yankees cannot win the series without Ruth’s bat.

Irving, our young hero, races to Yankee Stadium to discuss his sandlot game with his father Stanley (voiced by Mandy Patinkin) who’s working a double shift as the stadium’s custodian. Stanley has keys to the Yankees' locker room and lets his son in, directing him to a cage where Ruth’s bat is kept.  He unlocks it and allows Irving to look at the bat and touch it. While Irving is alone in the room for a brief moment, Maginnis (dressed as a security guard) enters and yells at the boy to leave. The cage door with Darlin’ in it is left open, making it easy for him to snatch the bat. Irving returns to the sandlot for a game the next day and discovers a baseball named Screwie (voiced by Rob Reiner) that can actually talk.

At the same time, the owner of the Yankees questions Irving’s father about the missing bat. When Irving arrives home, his father accuses him of stealing it. Of course, his son cannot produce the bat, and the team fires Stanley. It’s now up to Irving and Screwie to find Darlin’ and get Stanley’s job back.

Filmmakers Dan St. Pierre and Colin Brady share directorial credits here with Christopher Reeve, who died during production of this movie. Unfortunately, Everyone’s Hero seems poorly executed to me. I also believe the screenplay by Robert Kurtz and Jeff Hand talks down to children and fails to get its message about perseverance across successfully.

(Released by 20th Century Fox and rated “G” for no age restrictions.)

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